The Hotel | Apr 16, 2019
Passion for Heritage in Orange

Passion for Heritage in Orange

As we embark on Australian Heritage Week 2018 from April 16-24, Orange puts the spotlight on its historical buildings and how they can be retained for generations to come.

One such building is the once dilapidated residence known as ‘Yallangah’, which has been purchased and restored with care by local residents David and Elizabeth Nock.

Elizabeth’s strong pedigree in the heritage arena was one of the driving factors in she and David purchasing such an important building in Orange. As a member of the National Trust* Women’s Committee for twenty years (of which, she chaired for three years) she has been an active fundraiser and influencer, and is now excited to have her own project in line with the Trust’s work.

“I am passionate about our heritage and preserving it for my grandchildren,” Elizabeth said. “The challenges of preserving buildings of significance such as the residence on Byng Street is the cost of not only restoration but of maintaining the building to ensure it is safe and sustainable to pass on to future generations.”

Originally from Mudgee, Elizabeth’s family home was a brick and slab house built by convicts. She spent her childhood visiting her grandmother’s home ‘Pibrac’ in Warrawee, a home listed on the State heritage register.
Once married, Elizabeth and David lived for 10 years in the William Hardy Wilson designed ‘Bevan Neave House’ in Neutral Bay.

“We sold this property to enable us to spend more time at our farm at Cadia which we purchased 18 years ago, and it’s then that we really fell in love with the architecture, climate and vibrancy of Orange and its surrounds.”

“My experience of spending many years of my life in these properties has given me an appreciation of heritage architecture. I am particularly interested in adaptive reuse of heritage buildings, I believe this enables them to be adapted for living and usage, and ensures that they remain loved and maintained in to the future.”

“I appreciate the architectural merit in domestic buildings but I have also seen a number of beautiful homes go to wrack and ruin because the owners can’t handle the expensive upkeep of such a building. ‘Yallangah’ has suffered many years of neglect and certainly needed a great deal of love and funds injected into it to make it viable to open its doors again”.

Elizabeth, along with her husband David restored the Byng Street residence and, similar to an episode of Grand Designs, took on the challenge of restoring the building with the intention of adapting its use so others could immerse themselves in a small part of Orange’s history.

“A tradesman built the residence for his family adding rooms as he went and using materials that came to hand so it’s not a particularly significant building architecturally but it’s still a part of Orange’s history so we are very excited to be adapting this building so others can enjoy it.”

“We chose Mayoh Architects to assist us in our project because of the award winning architectural projects in which that have been involved and Peter Mayoh’s expertise in the ‘adaptive reuse’ of heritage buildings.”

Other buildings to undergo repurposing in the region include the Perry Street Hotel in Mudgee, which was the old Mechanics Institute, the original Orange Council Chambers, which now houses business OCTEC.

* The National Trust of Australia (NSW) is a community-based, non-government organisation, committed to promoting and conserving Australia’s indigenous, natural and historic heritage through its advocacy work and its custodianship of heritage places and objects.